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  • Authoritarianism is a form of government. It is characterized by absolute or blind obedience to [formal] authority, as against individual freedom and related to the expectation of unquestioning obedience. Juan Linz, whose 1964 description of authoritarianism is influential, characterized authoritarian regimes as political systems by four qualities: "limited, not responsible, political pluralism"; that is, constraints on political institutions and groups, a basis for legitimacy based on emotion, especially the identification of the regime as a necessary evil to combat "easily recognizable societal problems" such as underdevelopment or insurgency; neither "intensive nor extensive political mobilization" and constraints on the mass public and "formally ill-defined" executive power, often shifting or vague.